Wednesday, December 11, 2002
1. Merry Christmas. We having a get-together, a party, a soiree this Sunday, 15 December 2002:
The Dominican Tertiaries or Lay Dominicans are having a Christmas Party this Sunday, December 15, 2002, 1:00 p.m. at St. Paul’s Student Center, 1915 University Drive, in Boise, Idaho. Bring something to eat or drink, and we’ll have a very fine time. We talk about the Lord, Advent, and Christmas. Stephanie DeNinno, OPL will give a brief talk about Advent. Phil Ferguson, OPL will give a brief history of Christmas. We’ll read a story or two. Have some fun and enjoy each other. You are invited.
2. ADVENT SONG. Lucy Kobusingye has graciously forwarded me the following song she wrote. Now, during this Advent Season, is to give our hearts, our all, to Him, the Incarnate One. Lucy has been coming to our meetings for six months or more. I hope you enjoy this (Lucy, can you teach us how to sing this?):
All I Have to Give
Lucy Kobusingye ã 12/01/02
1. I didn't have anything to give that's fit to give a king.
As we celebrate your birth,
I stand before you empty handed
Then my Lord, you said to me,
"Come and offer me your heart
And your love from deep within
That's all I want from you"
I give you my heart, Lord
Come and dwell within me
I give you my love, my love from deep within
Everything I have comes from you, Now
I give it back to you
I offer you my life
That's all I have to give
2. I didn't know my way to you
From the darkness of my life
I searched the world all over
For a place to call my own
Then my Lord you came to me, and
Brought light into my world
Now I see that you were there all along
(I see that you were with me all along)
2. The United States and conflict with Iraq. I have received a number of emails on the issue involving potential war with Iraq. We want peace or the absence of conflict. There are those who say a U.S. war with Iraq will start World War III, and there are others that say Iraq would fall in a matter of days. True? I don’t know. The United States has a potent military force, which must be used for the common good guided by right judgment. Whether a nation can win or lose is not the first question to be answered. The first question, is whether it is right to go to war, or stated otherwise, is it a just war? If the United States attacks Iraq, are we using preventive measures to stop Iraq and the use of widespread destructive weapons? Is Iraq’s threat so severe to the community of nations and to the peace of this country, that it would cause lasting, grave, and certain harm? The public authorities that are in a position to gather and interpret the intelligence can answer these questions. These people are charged with using sound judgment based upon objective verifiable facts—not interpretations or preconceived conclusions. If the threat is truly severe and lasting, all other measures of avoiding war must be attempted, including diplomatic, logistical, and practical measures. The U.S.A. has the ability to win the war and can seriously inflict great harm upon Iraq and its people and force a change in the regime there. The U.S.A. must also provide social support such as food, shelter, and other provisions after the war. The use of excessive force greater than the evil being eliminated should be avoided. In other words, the U.S.A. should not use nuclear or widely destructive weapons against Iraq. As these issues are weighed, factored, and decided, the opportunity to prevent and avoid conflict and to establish lasting peace should be the highest priority. The government has the right to ask its citizens to come to the Nation’s defense, whether by the use of arms or by some other means. Nevertheless, there are certain questions to be asked. In the final analysis, if the U.S.A. attacks Iraq, is this preventive measure a form of defense of our country? If Iraq, it constituents, or its ideological compatriots are able to deliver on threats of mass destruction in the U.S.A., our public authorities need to seriously consider such a threat. However, it is not patently defensive in the sense that Iraq is attacking the territory of the United States, therefore it must be preventively defensive, and this must be carefully weighed and determined in view of the just war principles. In a parallel rhetorical question, would it have been a just effort for the U.S.A. to try to assassinate Hitler or wage war against him in 1939 or 1940, when it was manifestly clear he was motivated for total war in Europe with the goal of widespread killing of Jews and Christians? As noted above, the public authorities in the U.S. Government have the moral and public duty to review these issues carefully and justly. Our government rules by consent of the governed. The essential ingredient of our republic is freedom, which gives us the ability to choose and to do what is morally correct. The essential difference between government and private persons and entities is that government is able to use force to impose its will. That is why government is constitutionally limited in the U.S.A; and, that is why the government must govern justly and weigh rightly the facts involving this Iraqi problem. Because we live in a free society governed by consent, the cause for such a war must be plainly and objectively stated to the people of the United States of America. If war becomes necessary—absolutely necessary—should we support our country? First, we must pray for peace, justice, and prosperity for all people. St. Paul tells to pray for our leaders that we may enjoy peace in order to live and spread the Gospel. In the end, to do rightly our government must yield to the true facts of the situation. The President should make his case to the people. War should be the last option…only if justifiably necessary. In the end, I will trust the decision made because in our system, the government governs by consent. But, as a citizen, each must do our part: we must pray and fast, and petition that peace be sought with all vigor and effort. Seek justice first. Peace will come. It may not be the peace that is the absence of conflict, but be the peace of the soul. Truly the peace of Christ can settle your soul during times of terrible human conflict or strife. However, it is also good not to have war, so that the Gospel and be lived, taught, and spread. In the end, the only peace, the only rest, and the only integrity and justice can be found fully in Heaven before the Beatific Vision. For now, pray and fast, and petition for justice. John C. Keenan, O.P.L.
5. News: Sr. Alice Marie Schmid, OP, chaplain at Mercy Medical Center in Nampa, Idaho, has attended our last meeting. She is welcome to attend again and again and again. She delivered news that the Edmond Dominican Sisters have merged with the Adrian, Michigan Dominican Sisters Congregation pending Vatican approval. The news is at http://www.domlife.org/ Sr. Alice Marie’s address is: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Idaho Dominican laity have prayed for their success.